International Thespian Society

What is the
International Thespian Society?

What are the requirements to be in the International Thespian Society?

To be eligible for lifetime Thespian membership, students in grades nine through twelve must attend a school with an active Thespian troupe and complete a sufficient quantity and quality of work in theatre arts. A one-time induction fee is required, and troupes may assess additional participation fees at their discretion. Thespians may earn additional honors for work done after induction. Most Thespian benefits last through grade twelve. Graduated members become Thespian alumni.

The International Thespian Society is an honor society for theatre arts students; it is not a secret society or club. Thespians may not be inducted based on election or review by other students. Hazing is prohibited. The troupe constitution and all membership requirements must be readily available to any interested parties, and all troupe activities are subject to the oversight of the school administration.

ITS keeps a permanent record of each student’s induction. Thespian point records are kept at the troupe level. Correspondence with the National Office should be directed through the troupe director whenever possible.

What is the history of the International Thespian Society?

The International Thespian Society was founded in 1929 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Originally named National Thespians, the society was founded by Dr. Paul Opp, Earnest Bavely and Harry T. Leeper.

What are the key benefits of being a member of the International Thespian Society

Each year, the Educational Theatre Association’s awards, grants, and scholarships opportunities honor the achievements of individuals and theatre programs, providing award-winners with the financial support to attend Association events or further educational endeavors.

  • Awards are presented in recognition of notable accomplishments by individuals or theatre programs.​
  • Grants are one-time financial awards presented to individuals or troupes to attend Association events such as the EdTA National Conference or the International Thespian Festival, or to help support the troupe's theatre program.​
  • National scholarships are presented to students to cover tuition and fees, typically based on a combination of merit and career goals.

Based on the information, here is our review:

 Our first observation is: that this society notes that many members last through grade twelve, meaning the lasting benefit of membership is worth the time invested. 

Our second observation was: that this is  an immersive experience for high school students where they can mature with their peers through the practice of theatre year by year. 

Our third observation was: that this society offers the opportunity for grants, making it a worthwhile investment for anyone interested in becoming a thespian.


International Thespian Society

 International Thespian Society

International Thespian Society